Thou Know’st Us Happy

Is there sex in heaven? A reader asks:

On this earth, we’re never going to run away from the problem of fidelity, whether sexual or emotional, and it may be prudent to err on the side of caution in terms of forming friendships with members of the opposite sex especially after one is married. So, for example, even if I begin to form a friendship with another woman, I imagine it would be prudent to limit interaction with the other person to situations where the wife is around, and to also avoid disclosing information I may freely disclose to my male friends.

What do you imagine this would look like in heaven? Will there still be the  sexual tension that requires this sort of caution? Or will we be able to  share our lives with each other freely without getting ourselves into the  kind of emotional messes that plague us down here? Or will we just be as  prudent in heaven without feeling like we’re being denied something – that  is, the situation in heaven will be much like what it is here except that we will just think that having ‘restricted’ relationships is the normal thing to do and accept it with contentment?

A word of warning: for earthly men to speculate of heavenly things is like seven-year-olds debating what their parent’s wedding night was like, dealing with concepts hidden from them, or not understood. We can only grope with metaphors and strained analogies, while yet we know all metaphors are false, and all analogies are incomplete.

And a note on grammar: The word ‘gender’ refers to word endings, not to people. This word started, a few years back (not so long ago for those with long memories) to be used by the Politically Correct as a deception, in order to put across the strange notion that sex was optional. The idea was that sex was a biological reality but that ‘gender’ was a social role, ergo sex is fixed by nature but ‘gender’ is defined by society. The unspoken implication is that society is unfair to women and to effete men by asking them to fit into feminine
and masculine roles.

Now, in this case, if we may speak with a nicety of precision, because (if my idea of spiritual reality is correct) spirits would still have masculine and feminine ‘gender’ albeit they will in heaven have left their biological natures behind them with their corpse.

As I understand it, spirits do not have sex in the biological sense, but they do have ‘gender’ in the spiritual sense, which is to say, maleness and femaleness. It is for this reason, among many, that sane men speak of God as a He, and not as a He/She, They, or It.

On earth, a friendship between a man and a woman often, if not always, has a slight romantic tinge or tone, a temptation to flirt, or, at least, a demand that the man be gallant and protective, which would never occur between two male friends.

It is wise never to be alone with an attractive friend of the opposite sex, but always to have one’s wife or child or some other friend within eyesight, so that a man’s natural gallantry does not offer any near occasion of sin.

Other men are no doubt more chaste and pure of heart than am I, and perhaps need not take these precautions. But I have a romantic soul, and, alas, I was exposed to far too many girly picture in my youth, and far too much of the antimorals of the sexual revolution for me to shrug aside merely with an act of the intellect.

As far conditions in heaven, I only know what poets say. Milton, in PARADISE LOST Book VIII asks the archangel Raphael about erotic love in heaven. He says this:

Love not the heav’nly Spirits, and how thir Love
Express they, by looks only, or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow’d
Celestial rosie red, Loves proper hue,
Answer’d. Let it suffice thee that thou know’st
Us happie, and without Love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy’st
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars:
Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace,
Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure
Desiring; nor restrain’d conveyance need
As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul.

saint_raphael

Yes, that is a picture of an archangel holding a fish. If you do not know why, go get a version of the Bible that did not trash Tobit, and read.

If we are asking whether there was sex in Eden before the Fall, there are many Church fathers and learned doctors who teach this, as poets so sing. The idea of paradise as abstinent does not spring from the lusty ancient world nor from the dazzling bright logic and lucid reasoning of the Middle Ages (ironically called Dark) but from the Puritan world on the Northern fringes of the Continent in rebellion against the ancient civilization of Europe. The medievals were not in rebellion against the pleasures, sexual and otherwise, heaven in love granted mankind as generous and precious gifts. That movement came from the sons of the Prophet to the barren south, who hide the beautiful faces of women behind veils, and from the Puritans to the cold north, who refused the joys of dancing and drinking wine and beer. Or is it the other group who won’t drink wine?  Or both?  Yet Milton, who is as Puritan a poet as they come, celebrated the vivid connubial love of the father and mother of our race.

Eve_Tempting_Adam

It is not sexual congress that is bad. The Church has never taught this. It is the abuse of sex that is bad: sex outside its proper place, proper partner, not consecrated in divine matrimony, not ordered toward sexual reproduction, not full, not complete, not sane. Sex is bad when it is treated lightly, if not (since it is divine) treated blasphemously, as merely an indoor mixed doubles recreational sport. It is not the Church that teaches sex is bad. She teaches that sex is miraculous, rapturous, supernal. It is the world that treats sex as trash.

So much for conditions at Genesis. What about after the Apocalypse? If we are asking whether masculine and feminine spirits in heaven will look upon each other’s naked souls unshamed, the answer is yes, for we shall all be cleared and purified by that living water which issues from the throne of God, if not from the sacred heart of Christ.

paradiso-antahkarana-chakras-above-the-head-27-1-4Our bodies after the general resurrection will be flesh, but not such flesh, dull and heavy, ugly and painful, as we know here in this valley of tears.

We have only a very few examples of what the flesh might be like of those whose fleshly nature was not corrupted and heavy with disobedience. Of Adam and Eve, we can deduce that woman was neither subject to her husband nor brought forth children in pain; and that man had such command over nature, or perhaps over his own appetites, that he did not need to struggle with the earth, and plant and sew and reap for his bread.

Before the Fall, sickness and sorrow was unknown as sin; for we know sin introduced those sad things to men. Before Eden as well as after Christ, men can handle serpents and tread scorpions and close the mouths of lions with a finger, for these lesser beasts are once more in their proper subservient relation to man as man is in his proper subservient relation to God. Smaller beasts than these, lice and bugs and microbes, would not afflict unfallen Man with plague any more than the lionesses in paradise will bite.

We also hear of miracles from Christ and His saints, that for men not severed from heaven, wine can be made from water by the gallon, or multitudes fed from a little boy’s lunch; other saints are said to have lived on nothing but the Eucharist, or been assumed up into the air like clouds, or been seen in two places at once, or in far lands in a twinkling. This implies a very different relationship between soul and body, or different types of bodies, or laws of nature whose chains bind no so tightly. The doctors of the Church call such bodies prelapsarian as Adam before the Fall, or glorified, as Christ after He was Risen.

ascensionOur flesh shall be filled with clarity like the sun, perfect and beautiful, too bright for sinful eyes to look up; shall be as agile as a thought, hence able to travel from one place to another with the speed of imagination, or be in two places at once as certain saints could do, or levitate with the gaiety of angelic warriors,; shall be free of defect and impervious to pain or disease; and our bodies shall be subtle in substance, hence able to pass through wall and locked doors even as Christ Himself passed through locked doors to greet His disciples with words of peace.

Now Christ sat with His men and ate fish and drank wine, and did so with real gusto and taste, not as a metaphor nor as an illusion. I have no doubt that a sinless tongue can take greater pleasure, not less pleasure, from all the aspects of physical creation than we can. Wine will be more sweet, not less, and the only drunkenness shall be the rose-colored enthusiasm of divine love.

Again, I do not know the Church teaching on this point, and I offer only speculation, but by analogy, the sexual pleasures in heaven should be as heaven as the pleasures of feasting and drinking. That is, everything will be put back in its original nature Adam and Even knew in Eden, unstained, unmarred, unafraid, bright as a lightningbolt and deep as the sea.

There would seem to be no need of procreation among immortal spirits, but if, after Doomsday, God creates the new Heaven and the new Earth, a heaven which Lucifer’s footstep before he fell never trod, an Earth where the new Eve, Mary, never disobeyed, who can say whether we will once again be commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and go forth, and fill it? There is no need for procreation among spirits, but then again, there was no need for Creation itself. God commanded the cosmos into being by the sheer arbitrary fiat of His volcanic overflowing super-abundant love and good will, not because He needed us or was lonely.

But this is all speculation, and wiser heads than mine must be sought if you want a firmer answer.

Of the other part of the question, I can speak with more certainty: it is not logically possible that God will open up to us His treasuries of love, of bliss, of peace that surpasses understanding, and that we will be speechless with joy or shouting with joy and fill the universe with song until the starry walls are shaking, and yet at the same time we will be plagued by temptations, deceptive desires, uncertainties, jealousies, longings, or lusts for the wives of other men.

Christ Himself has said that we in heaven will not marry nor will women be given in marriage. I do not think this means that erotic love will be removed; but I think it will be complete, its nature filled up and turned into something supernatural, something for which we on Earth have no name and which we cannot picture in our imaginations.

We cannot imagine a chaste orgy; we cannot imagine a love that is at once as rowdy and earthly and low as erotic love and as pure and high as divine and selfless love. The closest hint we have here on Earth is the bridegroom’s wedding night, when he is both filled with impatient lusts and elevated by patience and tenderness a man can only feel for his bride. The sacrament of marriage somehow combines what sin has sundered in our human nature.

But in heaven, Christ is the bridegroom and we are all His bride: who can imagine what the sacraments are there?

I cannot imagine. I doubt any man can. This is because we are blind moles here, and have only the slightest notion of what love is. God is love. God is infinite. Love is infinite. Who can measure it?

We know only what has been written: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Paradiso_Canto_31

28 Comments

  1. Comment by bobsykes:

    The plain reading of the Creed is that we are resurrected in our perfected physical bodies and that we will live on a perfected Earth, once again the Garden of Eden. There will not be spiritual bodies in a spiritual Heaven. Heaven is an will be the abode of God and His Angels.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      You have said in a sentence what it took me an essay to say. I am glad we agree. But I was also speculating that the angels, albeit having neither sex nor reproduction, also enjoy erotic love in the fashion Milton describes.

      I was also describing, following Aquinas, the perfected physical bodies, the glorified bodies that will be clarified, subtle, agile and impassible.

    • Comment by Mary:

      That goes beyond the Creed, which asserts merely that we will rise from our grave and live in the world that is to come. Given that Jesus has already taken His resurrected body out of this world, it is obvious that it is possible for us to live bodily there.

  2. Comment by bobsykes:

    PS. That means physical sex.

  3. Comment by Bruno Moreno:

    bobsykes:

    Actually, there are already at least two spiritual bodies in Heaven: those of Our Lord and of Our Lady, who was assumed body and soul into Heaven.

  4. Comment by The_Shadow:

    “It is not the Church that teaches sex is miraculous, rapturous, supernal.” Surely the ‘not’ there is unintended?

    bobsykes, 1 Corinthians 15 clearly says, ‘It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.’ Now, ‘spiritual’ here does not mean ‘ghostly’ – it means something more than what we have now, not something less. But still it is different; our resurrection bodies, St. Paul teaches, are to our current ones as the mature plant to the seed.

    Given that Christian celibacy is a sign of the age to come, where they will be neither married nor given in marriage, I cannot think that age will include sex as we understand it now. No doubt sex as we currently have it is the seed for something greater in the resurrection, but it is quite impossible for us to conceive of it at this point.

    (C. S. Lewis has an apt analogy here. He compares asking if Heaven will have sex to a little boy, upon being told that sex is the highest pleasure, asking if one eats chocolate while doing it. Upon being told no, he decides it can’t be all that great!)

    And while I don’t know of any formal Church teaching on the topic, the common understanding of theologians and the Christian people is surely that procreation will cease in the age to come. The human race will have fulfilled its destiny; all the thrones in Dante’s Mystical Rose will be filled. The full number of Gentiles will have come into the Church, as St. Paul puts it in Romans; to add more people would be like adding new chapters to a complete and luminous book, or extra limbs to a masterpiece of a statue.

    Likewise, though again I think there is no formal teaching on the topic, the common understanding is that sacraments will cease in Heaven. Here, we see as in a glass, darkly; but there, face to face. Faith will have given way to sight, and hope to possession.

    Though I have read the speculations of one writer that man’s dual nature will demand something like unto sacraments, engaging our senses as well as our intellects. But I recall that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as water fills the sea; my own guess is that the least grain of dust will communicate God’s glory to those with the Beatific Vision more clearly than any sacrament does (or can!) now.

    We do not know, we cannot know, not really. But I take great comfort in the realization that whatever we imagine now, no matter how great, the reality will be greater yet.

  5. Comment by Brian Niemeier:

    A truly fascinating question answered with the confidence in faith and deference to Holy Mother Church that is the gold standard of theology!

    It calls to mind something Scott Hahn told me. He’s developed a Eucharistic interpretation of the eschaton that I find simply mind-blowing. What happens, he asks, when the Risen Christ lays his hands upon the earth and says, “This is my body”?

    • Comment by Doc:

      Brian Niemeyer: It calls to mind something Scott Hahn told me. He’s developed a Eucharistic interpretation of the eschaton that I find simply mind-blowing. What happens, he asks, when the Risen Christ lays his hands upon the earth and says, “This is my body”?

      That sounds awfully heretical. The Church is the body of Christ not the earth. The earth is a creation and possession of Christ.

      We must be wary of protestants, and others, who want to develop novel eschatologies and theological interpretations. I say this as a protestant convert myself who has studied the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. What John speculates upon is fine, but to say the earth is the “body of Christ?” Puhleese.

      • Comment by The_Shadow:

        Well, let us not forget Romans 8. The whole cosmos groans while awaiting the redemption of the sons of God, for it has been made subject to futility.

        Let’s also not circumscribe the boundaries of the Church, especially the Church in the Eschaton, too much. Can we say that this world which nourishes and sustains our body has ultimately nothing to do with us? Is not man’s primal vocation to be priests for the cosmos, giving a voice to its praise of the Creator? (This is what I make of the Psalms telling the rivers to clap their hands and the mountains to shout for joy – it is referring to people doing those things in the Temple worship.)

        You say that the world is not Christ’s Body. In this you are correct. Neither are the bread and wine when they are brought up to the altar to be consecrated. But when Christ lays His hands on these things, ‘the work of human hands’ and speaks His word, they *become* His Body and Blood.

        I’ll repeat it again, because this Scripture delights me: “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as water fills the sea.”

        • Comment by Doc:

          The_Shadow : You say that the world is not Christ’s Body. In this you are correct. Neither are the bread and wine when they are brought up to the altar to be consecrated.

          Creation groans for its final redemption, but it is not the “body of Christ”. Neither is bread and wine. Do not mix this up. Bread and wine are parts of creation that through transubstantiation have their very essence and substance changed into the very, and true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

          Do not confuse their prior state with their transubstantiated state. There was nothing holy or super-mundane about them in their natural state. Only when transubstantiated.

        • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

          The “earth” in Hab 2:14 is the Hebrew word “erets”, which in this context probably refers to territory, that is, an emphasis on the inhabitants thereof (uninhabited land is not territory). It does not refer to “the earth” as in a ball of dirt elipting (if this is not a word, it ought to be) around the sun.

          What you are saying is heresy, plain and simple. No, the Body of Christ is the Church, which consists of a communion of souls. The Body of Christ is not, never was, and never will be including trees, rocks, air, nematodes, squirrels, or daffodils. Yes, the physical body of Christ depends on and is inseparable from the physical world, but just because you had eggs for breakfast that doesn’t make you an egg. Your nature is human, not egg.

      • Comment by Brian Niemeier:

        Good day, Doctor. Thank you for commenting on my recollection. More importantly, praise God for the grace of conversion. Welcome home!

        I appreciate your zeal for right doctrine and your vigilance against falsehood. Rest assured, Dr. Hahn professes no heretical view of the eschaton. The fault lies with my lack of precision.

        Having studied under Dr. Hahn at some length, I can reassure you that his conversion to Catholicism was aided by the Catholic interpretation of St. John’s Apocalypse–a book that had theretofore left him stymied. Rather than wavering between various literalist readings and temptations to dismiss the book entirely, Dr. Hahn now accepts a modified preterist view wherein Rev. 1~20 pertains to events of the first few centuries AD, while admitting an eschatological interpretation of the rest. This is a perfectly orthodox view.

        I did not mean to imply that Dr. Hahn believes that the earth is the Body of Christ. You are correct that the Church is Christ’s Body. However, in the great Catholic tradition of et/et, the Body of Christ isn’t only the Church. So is the Eucharist. (The Fathers tended to define the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, whereas the Eucharist was more often termed the Body of Christ). Of course, these definitions aren’t mutually exclusive.

        If I remember rightly, Dr. Hahn supported his Eucharistic eschatology by pointing out the Eucharistic nature of St. John’s Apocalypse itself (he argues persuasively in The Lamb’s Supper that a great deal of imagery in the Book of Revelation refers to the Mass). In any case, his admittedly colorful description of Christ consecrating the earth with the Eucharistic formula is meant as a procedural account of how the general resurrection and the new earth may occur. (“When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15:28).

        • Comment by Doc:

          Brian Niemeier: However, in the great Catholic tradition of et/et, the Body of Christ isn’t only the Church. So is the Eucharist. (The Fathers tended to define the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, whereas the Eucharist was more often termed the Body of Christ).

          First, thank you. It is purely by grace of God that I am Catholic these past almost 30 years, being raised that to become a Catholic is the worst thing one could possibly do.

          To add a bit to what I replied to the Shadow, who also replied somewhat similarly. The bread and wine have no particular virtue in them. They are mere created elements for the benefit of man. It is only through transubstantiation that they become truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

          The accidents, the physical form remains. Thus it becomes the physical body and blood. The Church is the mystical body and blood, indissolubly joined to him in a state St. Paul likens to marriage.

          Thus one is spiritual or mystical and the other is physical.

          Thanks for a more full understanding of Mr. Hahn’s ideas. I’m not sure that “a new heaven, and a new earth” fit that, but it is a conjecture after all.

  6. Comment by TheConductor:

    Much like the little boy in the C.S. Lewis analogy cited above, I can’t help but wonder if there will be model railroading in the Perfected World. I suspect our esteemed host may likewise wonder if there will be science fiction tales. (Though I have no doubt that what those who receive Christ’s salvation will see will exceed anything we can imagine.)

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I think we will see the things of which model railroads and science fiction tales are the shadows.

      There, we shall see reality, and we shall be real and solid. Here, we are partial, incomplete, mockeries of our true selves.

      Making living galaxies planet by planet and star by star into a dancing waltz of fire and light may be more fun even than laying O scale track on a table in the basement, or helping Beethoven, Shakespeare and Solomon with a symphony or sonnet or with a song of songs may be more fun than penning my next space opera.

      I cannot imagine it. No man can.

  7. Comment by deiseach:

    All my two cents’ worth that I throw in here is to quote from Tolkien’s “Laws and Customs among the Eldar” (given that his Elves are, in a sense, unfallen Humans – that is, with their desires and appetites still under the control of their reason and so not subject to concupiscence):

    For with regard to generation the power and the will are not among the Eldar distinguishable. Doubtless they would retain for many ages the power of generation, if the will and desire were not satisfied; but with the exercise of the power the desire soon ceases, and the mind turns to other things. The union of love is indeed to them great delight and joy, and the ‘days of the children’, as they call them, remain in their memory as the most merry in life; but they have many other powers of body and mind which their nature urges them to fulfil.

    Thus, although the wedded remain so for ever, they do not necessarily dwell or house together at all times; for without considering the chances and separations of evil days, wife and husband, albeit united, remain persons individual having each gifts of mind and body that differ.

  8. Comment by Malcolm Smith:

    What a strange question your reader asked!
    The earthly functions of sex (not necessarily in this order) are procreation, love, and pleasure. But procreation is unnecessary in heaven, and love extends not to one or two people, but to everyone, everywhere. As for pleasure, what are a few minutes of ecstacy on earth compared to the eternal ecstasy of heaven?
    The passions of earth cannot enter heaven, not because they are too strong, but because they are too weak.

  9. Comment by Xena Catolica:

    I have to agree with The Shadow on this one. It’s not only that celibacy is an eschatological sign. Some sacraments seal us (baptism, confirmation, holy orders), cause a change in our soul that will still be evident after death, and marriage isn’t one of them. I’m pretty sure there’s no Tradition that marriage as a sacrament exists after death. But let me hasten to say there’s no suggestion of diminution of love or friendship in heaven; Mary is Queen of heaven because of her relationship on earth, the apostles are on the 12 thrones of judgement because of their relationship on earth. It seems to me that just as we have particular saint friends now, that will still be true when we are among them & our spouse will be our closest friend in heaven, the one whose beatitude we most rejoice in. Getting our spouse to heaven is the point of marriage, and sex the hint of *that* consummation. “To know as we are known” with its sexual connotations I think refers to an intimacy greater than sex.

    • Comment by The_Shadow:

      Excellent point about marriage not being a character sacrament. If it were, we would not be able ever to remarry.

      Really, if sex and marriage existed in Heaven, the question of the Sadducees, “In the Resurrection, whose wife will she be?” would make perfect sense. But we know what our Lord told them.

      • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

        I suspect you’re (universal “you” to those making this argument, not just The_Shadow) making the error of equating heavenly things with temporal things. Generally Christ’s response to the Sadducees isn’t interpreted as saying “there is no marriage in heaven”, but “Stop trying to understand something you’re incapable of understanding.”

        There is a great temptation to prideful sin and heresy for those of us who enjoy this kind of theological questioning: ultimately there are many aspects of faith that are not discernable by human reason. If we try to force our appreciation of our Creator into the venn diagram of things we can understand, we will end up going very, very wrong.

        It is true that you cannot be married to more than one living spouse at one time. It nowise follows that this is true in Heaven. This does not mean Heaven is polygamous, it means Stop Trying to Explain in Temporal Concepts That Which Cannot Be Understood Temporally.

        Like the child who likes chocolate, when you get to Paradise, Paradise will be revealed to you. Right now you persist in arguing over what flavor the chocolate is going to be on your wedding night. It’s a stupid argument.

  10. Comment by Doc:

    Relating to Gen. 1: 26 “and he said Let us make Man to our image, & likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and all creeping creature, that moveth upon the earth.”

    Here is the annotation from the REAL Douay Rheims of 1611 (www.realdouayrheims.com) which gives the 10 prerogatives of man.

    26. Let us make man to our Image.] For better consideration of Gods bounty towards us, and stirring ourselves to gratitude towards him, we may here note ten prerogatives bestowed on us, by our Lord & maker in our creation above all other earthly creatures.
    First, whereas God by an imperial word of commandment made other creatures, Fiat lux, Fiat firmamentum: Be there light: Be there a firmament: intending to make man, he proceedth familiarly, by way, as it were, of consultation, and as to his own use and service to make man saying: Let us make man to our image and likeness, that is to say, a reasonable creature with understanding and free will, which beasts have not.
    Secondly, in this work God first insinuateth the high Mystery of the B. Trinity, or
    plurality of Persons in one God (because man is to believe the same) signifying the
    plurality of Persons by the words Let us make, and to our: and the unity in substance, by the words Image and likeness, the first in the plural number, the later in the singular.
    Thirdly, other creatures were produced by the waters and earth, Let the waters
    bring forth (fish and fowl) Let the earth bring forth (grass and cattle, & other beasts) but God brought forth man, not by the earth, though of the earth, nor by water, nor by heaven, nor by Angels, but by himself, giving him a reasonable soul, not sensual only as to beasts, and the same not produced of any creature, but created immediately of nothing. Fourthly, God gave man Paradise a most pleasant place to dwell in.
    Fifthly, God gave man dominion and imperial authority over all living creatures under heaven.
    Sixthly, man was created in that innocency of life, and integrity of all virtues, that his mind was wholly subject to God, his sense to reason, his body to his spirit, and all other living creatures obedient to him: even the terrible Lions, the cruel Tigers, the huge Elephants, and the wildest Birds. Seventhly, God brought them all to man, as to do him homage, and to take their names of him. Which by his excellent knowledge he gave them conformable to their natures. Eighthly, God gave man in some sort an immortal body, that if he had kept God’s commandment, he had lived long and pleasantly in this world, and so should have been translated to eternal life without dying.
    Ninthly, God did not only adorn man with all natural knowledge, and
    supernatural virtues, but also with the gift of prophecy. Whereby he knew that Eve was a bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, though being asleep he knew not when she was made.
    Tenthly (which was the chief benefit of all) God conversed familiarly with
    man, and that in shape of man, which was a token of his marvelous great love to man, and a singular incitement of him to love God. Read more, if you please, of the dignity of man, and the benefits of God towards him in his creation, in St. Bernard upon the 99. Psalm. And upon the 61. chapter of Esaie.

    • Comment by Brian Niemeier:

      “Thirdly, other creatures were produced by the waters and earth, Let the waters
      bring forth (fish and fowl) Let the earth bring forth (grass and cattle, & other beasts) but God brought forth man, not by the earth, though of the earth, nor by water, nor by heaven, nor by Angels, but by himself, giving him a reasonable soul, not sensual only as to beasts, and the same not produced of any creature, but created immediately of nothing.”

      This is an often overlooked point well worth noting.

Leave a Reply